Recipes to take to market with you …
I had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah Madison yesterday on Edible Radio, she has a brand new book out called Seasonal Fruit Desserts. This is one of those must have, instant classics that you will reach for over and over again – I know these things as I have several hundred cookbooks, and only 8 or ten that I actually reach for over and over. I received the book from Deb’s publisher in March, and have used it on eight different occasions to date… Yesterday I bought strawberries at the farmer’s market, and this weekend I’ll be making this beautiful and simple dessert tonight to kick off the Memorial day weekend.
Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup
Serves 2 or 3
The wine turns these berries an electric shade of red, at least for six hours or so, after which they lose that luster but remain good to eat. They’re lovely served with sections of orange as well as plain. Even though I suggest a lighter wine, pretty much whatever wine you choose will become even-tempered by the time the strawberries yield their juice.
1 cup red wine, such as Beaujolais, Valpolicella, or Pinot Noir
1/3 to 1/2 cup organic sugar
1/8 teaspoon toasted peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 heaping pint basket of ripe strawberries (about 2 1/2 cups)
Put the wine, sugar, and peppercorns in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer just until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, but don’t let them cover the entire surface or the syrup will be too thick. This should take 15 minutes.
While the wine is reducing, rinse the berries and set them on a clean dishtowel to wick up the moisture. If they’re large, slice them into quarters or eighths; smaller berries can be sliced in half. When the syrup is cooked, pour it through a strainer over the fruit. Cover and let stand for at least an hour so that the strawberries yield their juices. Give them an occasional turn with a soft spatula so that all the berries come in contact with the wine, then divide the berries among small glasses — preferably the little bar glasses from France or Italy — and pour the syrup over them. Serve chilled with orange sections or a spoonful of cream if desired.
Reprinted with permission from Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison, ©2010. Published by Broadway Books.